Letter from Caterina Gilardino, Niece of Vincenzo Gilardino

I do not know the year Vincenzo Gilardino came to England but it must have been in the last years of the 1800s because in 1901 my father (Paulo) Gustavo, Vincenzo's brother, was sent to England by their father to try + persuade Vincenzo to return to Italy. In fact, Gustavo was unsuccessful + decided he himself, would stay here Here my father was a confectioner + found no difficulty in getting seasonal jobs which gave him the chance of seeing a number of places in England. He finally reached Manchester, + eventually married a Manchester girl.


As I understand it, Vincenzo, through Gatti's, signed on for each sailing, but this was usually on the same line + ship, apart from one journey to Australia, the ship was Southampton to Argentina - Buenos Aires. In Argentina there was, in fact, another Gilardino brother, Enrico. Between sailings, Vincent (as he was known here) had alternately a long leave + a short one. It was his practice to go to Italy for the long leave + to go to Manchester (later Knutsford, to which my parents moved) for the short leave.

My Mother ... had three sisters + inevitably, one of them attracted Vincent, + no doubt there would have been another marriage in the family. When my father went to Southampton after the ship wreck, to gather Vincent's belongings a photo of Florence was on his dressing table. I am enclosing a photocopy of Vincent's last letter to my father. Unfortunately it is in bad condition, but I think still readable. After all it is 85 years old!You will see it says they will be leaving on the 10th April. He sends kisses to Agnese (my mother) + 'Rina, myself, then 18 months old.

... also enclosed are two very poor photos. I am sorry I cannot tell you the name of the ship on the second photo. His position on board was a smokeroom steward. As you no doubt know, these men paid a premium to sail on the ships - partly for the tips + partly because it enabled them to trade. I know of one case where a whole band of string instruments was shipped to Buenos Aires + my aunts took commissions to embroider trousseaux[?].


I should like to record one more story, partly because it gives you some idea of Vincent's character, + partly it is a lovely story of true honesty. While my father was in Southampton after the shipwreck, a man stopped him in the street saying"I am sure you are Vincent Gilardino's brother because you are so like him. A while ago Vincent lent me £60 because my wife was very ill. " (No national health insurance in those days!) Next day, this man came in to my father + gave him the £60. There had been no written account of the loan.

Mittente: Monahan Clayton Manse Nursing Home Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1YZ England.

Related Biographies:

Vincenzo Pio Gilardino


Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) Letter from Caterina Gilardino, Niece of Vincenzo Gilardino ( ref: #2049, published 11 December 2003, generated 7th August 2020 04:10:20 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/letter-from-caterina-gilardino-niece-vincenzo-gilardino.html